Lhabab Duchen 2024

22 November 2024
Sikkim    Regional holiday

Lhabab Düchen is one of the four Buddhist festivals commemorating four events in the life of the Buddha, according to Tibetan traditions. Lhabab Düchen occurs on the 22nd day of the ninth lunar month according to the Tibetan calendar and widely celebrated in Tibet and Bhutan. The festival is also celebrated in other Buddhist Asian countries including Sri Lanka, Myanmar, Thailand and Laos where it is celebrated a few weeks before the Tibetan and Bhutanese version. In India, it is widely celebrated in the state of Sikkim.

Lhabab Duchen celebrates Guru Shakyamuni Buddhas return to Earth from the God Realm of the Thirty-Three after teaching Dharma for several months to the gods, including his mother, Mayadevi, who had died a week after Buddhas birth and been reborn there. As a merit multiplying day, the karmic results of actions done on this day are multiplied 100 million times. Tibetan Buddhists regard Lhabab Duchen as “Buddha multiplying day.” This means that any compassionate or righteous action performed on this day is multiplied by 10 million in its spiritual power.

On this day in actual history and modern times, pilgrims visit Buddhist monasteries, particularly at Lhasa, which they regard most sacred. Pilgrims there prostrate themselves on the ground before the sacred images and burn incense to the gods, and some paint ladders on the rocks nearby. The monks chant special prayers, which are listened to by the faithful with considerable devotion. On the sacred day of Lhabab Duchen, followers of Buddhism throng to monasteries to light butter lamps, burn incense and offer special prayers to Lord Buddha; monks and lamas spend the whole day reading the holy scriptures and purifying the air with their chanting of mantras. An important highlight of this holy festival is marked by placing freshly painted ladders on the rocks by the monasteries to symbolize holy descent of Buddha from Trayastrimsa.